PBS39 Premieres New Documentary Placing Mental Health in the Spotlight




Bethlehem, Pa. — May 19, 2017 — According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one out of every 20 Americans 12 years or older suffers from depression. The harrowing condition is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, and one of the nation’s leading causes of disability.

Addressing this important topic on a local level and offering hope to those affected, PBS39 created and produced Close to Home: Depression.  Part of the station’s PBS39 Check-Up initiative and Close to Home series, the 30-minute documentary shares intimate stories of hope and healing along with professional counsel on overcoming the disease.

Close to Home: Depression explores the themes of fear, stigma, hope, help, and recovery to inspire those whose lives have been touched by depression,” said Teri Haddad, EdD, SVP of Education & Production at PBS39. “Together with a host of outstanding community partners, PBS39 aims to open dialogue around the topic of depression, helping to change the conversation to one of support and understanding.”

A private screening for the program was held for sponsors and program contributors on Thursday, May 18 at PBS39.  Guests included Drs. Edward Norris and Brian Nestor of Lehigh Valley Health Network; Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Schlossberg; Michael Wilson, Director of Communications, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation; Anne Baum, Vice President, Lehigh Valley, Capital BlueCross; Laurie Gostley Hackett, Manager, Community Relations and Philanthropy, Air Products; and more.



Clockwise from top: Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Director of Communications Michael Wilson poses with Teri Haddad, EdD, SVP of Education and Production at PBS39; Anne Baum (L), Vice President, Lehigh Valley, Capital BlueCross, stops for a photo with PBS39’s Maria Esposito, Managing Director, Advancement and DaWayne Cleckley, VP, Marketing; (L-R) Dr. Edward Norris of Lehigh Valley Health Network, Tim Fallon, PBS39 CEO, and Dr. Brian Nestor of Lehigh Valley Health Network; (From L-R) Laura Cunningham, Marketing Coordinator, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, Dr. Haddad, and Laurie Gostley Hackett, Manager, Community Relations and Philanthropy at Air Products; Dr. Haddad and Mr. Wilson tape a short video for the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation; and Pa. Rep. Mike Schlossberg with his wife, Brenna.

Close to Home: Depression premieres on PBS39 Tuesday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m., with an encore presentation set for Sunday, June 4 at 11:30 a.m. (check local listings).

To address this important topic at the local level, PBS39 is proud to present Close to Home: Depression, which will premiere on PBS39 Tuesday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. This moving film shares intimate stories of people on their journeys through depression, giving a voice to physicians and patients alike.

“There are two types of stigma surrounding mental health today. Social stigma is the prejudicial attitudes and behavior experienced by individuals with mental health problems that are a result of the psychiatric label they’ve been given. Self-stigma occurs when a mental health sufferer internalizes these perceptions and realities of discrimination.  The consequences are that patients are deterred from seeking professional help,” explains Dr. Edward Norris, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Lehigh Valley Health Network.   “Programs like PBS39’s Close to Home: Depression help our community accept depression as a disease and offer those suffering an understanding that they are not alone in their struggle.”

“More than 15 million people in the US suffered from depression in the past year, yet only about half receive treatment. People may not seek professional help because they don’t believe that it will be effective; Close to Home: Depression helps demonstrate that treatment works,” noted Margaret Murphy, Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness Lehigh Valley. “When the proper treatment is combined with self-care and support from family and friends, most people find that their quality of life can be dramatically improved.”

Close to Home: Depression was funded by Lehigh Valley Health Network, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Capital BlueCross, and Air Products. Additional support provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Lehigh Valley and New Vitae Wellness and Recovery. 


About PBS39


PBS39 is a community-owned public television station licensed to Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Pa., serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. PBS39 is owned and operated by the Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation. PBS39 acts as the catalyst to promote civic engagement, and to fulfill the regional needs of the Greater Lehigh Valley through its dynamic communication platforms and resources. For more information, visit wlvt.org.


About PBS39 Check-Up


PBS39 Check-Up is a year-round initiative geared toward healthy living for all ages. 2016-2017 on-air programming includes Medical Minutes by St. Luke’s University Health Network; Close to Home, original productions on topical health and wellness issues facing our community; and health features on PBS39’s weekly news magazine program, FOCUS. PBS39 Check-Up is sponsored by Capital BlueCross.




Information Provided By:
DaWayne Cleckley
VP, Marketing